Read a good book lately? Check out a new book for Fall 2015
Some claim reading is a lost art, but whether you’re checking out what’s new for e-readers, or like me, you love the feeling of real paper and print in your hands, there are new books being written probably by the second. Here are some that I personally think are useful, funny, interesting, inspirational or perhaps helpful that caught my eye for Fall 2015. I have included links so you can quickly purchase the ones you want without having to search. Which ones are your new favorites?
Alison Blackman, Editor in Chief, Advicesisters.com
Some people will only buy green and natural products, and it can be a challenge to find them and use them properly. As a beauty reviewer, that’s nearly impossible for me, but The Green Beauty Rules: The Essential Guide to Toxic-Free Beauty, Green Glamour, and Glowing Skin by makeup artist Paige Padgett was helpful, informative, and frankly, kind of exciting. Paige is makeup artist to Jillian Michaels and got started with her as a client on The Biggest Loser. The book is quite wordy but full of good illustrations. I didn’t agree with a lot of what Paige was promoting, and few of us would find it easy to love all natural all the time to be “totally green.” However if that’s what you’re seeking, this book is definitely your new “green bible.” I liked the recommendations of natural/green beauty products (she included some from Ecco Bella, and I’m an Ambassador for that brand). Natural and Organic are terms that are bandied about like tennis balls at the US Open, The author cuts through a lot of confusion which could be very helpful for neophytes that want to “green up” their lives. Her suggestions for ditching products and building a green beauty collection were extreme, it’s a turn-off to go “cold turkey.” Most women aren’t ready or able to give up just about all their makeup and beauty products simply because they may have a few un-natural items in them. But this is still a great great resource. The treatments and DIY makeup application tips were tops. Even if you’re not interested that much in an extreme green makeover you can still find a lot of good information which make it a worthwhile investment.
The French Beauty Solution: Time-Tested Secrets to Look and Feel Beautiful Inside and Out by Mathilde Thomas, founder of Caudalie Paris, is less evangelical about all natural products but the author also has a cornucopia of DIY treatments using natural ingredients that are relatively easy and inexpensive E.g. eusing natural ingredients such as oil and honey to wash your face; and the amazing properties of grapes and grapeseed oil). Blending stories, science, DIY recipes, and tons of savoir faire, The French Beauty Solution claims it is the last beauty regimen you’ll ever need. I would go that far, but it is a good beauty book. Mathilde is beautiful in that natural but chic way of French women. I think the book has a lot of good information, but not all of it will be relate-able to all women. Most of us, no matter how much we would like to be like Mathilde, can’t change our busy lives and things that get in the way (not to mention we don’t get the same amount of “time off” as those in Europe). But that doesn’t take anything away from the author’s inspiration to eat, act, dress and style yourself in a way of the French woman. There are lots of inspiration quotes…all in all, it’s a lovely book for anyone who admires “the French beauty and style. It would make a nice holiday gift for a beaut-tista, too.
Butterfly by Kathryn Harvey Turner Publishing Company (2012) is an erotic fantasy novel, which will appeal to lots of fans of this genre. The action centers around a Beverly Hills brothel called Butterfly and it’s founder, and three of her female patrons who take advantage of costumed male “companions” that apparently are every woman’s fantasy including a masked burglar, a Confederate soldier, a Versailles courtier, a cowboy who will make any woman’s needs and fantasies come true. The brothel owner has issues of her own, and plans revenge against the man who used her, humiliated her, and threw her to the curb. It was nicely written, but the story line is tired, repeated in women’s fantasy erotica quite often. Slow readers take note: this book is hefty. The book could have used more editing. The plot line is fun, but it’s “tired.” For those who love this kind of fiction however, it’s going to be a fun, steamy weekend read!
Flirting with Disaster by Ava Catori and Olivia Rigal is a sexy but not over the top book by two NY Times and USA Today Bestselling authors. The first books I read from the talented and charming writer, Olivia Rigal were playful and slightly erotic — a mini-book series about a French woman who teaches at a cooking school in Paris, but her students are from all over. They have unique stories and some of them, connect with each other “after class.” The stores were engaging and romantic, but not intensely erotic. Since those initial books, Ms. Rigal has not only honed her craft, but has learned how to write fantasy, romance and erotica that titillates and yet it still manages to be tasteful, not pornographic. Yes, there’s some steamy sex, but it’s appropriate for the plot and the genre. And there is more than that: unlike some of these books which feature sex with a thin plot around it, this one has a real story and the characters well defined — relate-able to the average reader. The “main man” is your typical alpha male, but he is humanized by the authors, finding himself attracted to a more curvy woman who might not be completely in his league. The relationships between him and Barbara, the woman he’s attracted to, is full of typical boy gets girl, boy messes up with girl, issue arise, and there’s a happy ending. It is a truly satisfying read with the right amount of sexual and emotional tension, In a word, it’s “hot.”
Another book from the talented writer Olivia Rigal is Cold Burn (An Iron Tornadoes MC Romance Book 2) from the Iron Tornadoes MC series. This book will really appeal to those who love the combination of mystery, romance and bikers. In this book (book two in a series), the hero is a love-lorn biker who isn’t so really bad-ass because he has a heart of gold. . Like Olivia Rigal’s collaboration with Ava Catori in Flirting With Disaster, the characters are well defined and relate-able and when the scenes are erotic, they make sense (in other words Rigal’s book don’t insult your intelligence by just crafting sex scenes and putting some thinly worked characters around them). The book is what I’d consider erotic romance lite, but it’s still fairly steamy. The main relationship focuses on lovelorn Biker Brian who is focusing quite hard on the wants one thing the most in this world, to gain to love of Lisa, the sister of his deceased best friend David. But while Lisa like Brian, she also harbors the thought that Brian’s biker club the Iron Tornados, might be responsible for her brother’s death. There is tension between Lisa and Brian, and other characters in the book. If Brian can prove that Lisa’s brother David isn’t dead, he may win his ladylove back. For now, Lisa’s is unsure of Brian and she needs to tie up loose ends in her life. However, in Brian’s bed, she can’t resist Brian’s Specialty, the cold burn. Is there really such a thing and could you resist it? Read the book and find out.
Are you a woman (or do you know some) having difficulties finding dates, let alone lasting love? It might not be entirely your fault according to Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game by Jon Birger (Workman 2015). Reading his entertaining, economic assessment of the “love market” might not solve your problems, but it will give you another perspective on why certain parts of the population (e.g. NYC single women) are having such trouble dating. This book is not a dating book or a how-to book, but it is an interesting view of some of the issues that are causing people to hook up but not date seriously. The shortage of desirable, college-educated men for every fabulous women, especially in urban areas like New York and Los Angeles, is not a fiction. The author states a 57:43 ratio of men to women in college and post-college aged people. Technology (smart phones, dating apps that are hook-up apps) are easily available and according to Mr. Birger, make for a smorgasbord of one night stands and fun times for quality males as there are too few of them for the women who want them (134 women for every 100 men). The tone is no-nonsense and practical. For example, if you are frustrated with the man pool where you are, the author suggests moving to “ManJose” (San Jose California) where male tech geeks abound, and he lists other cities where single women can find eligible men. He also lists good places for men to meet women if they are having trouble in their own hometown. In a list of places that men can find women, the author picks places like Raleigh Durham North Carolina where the female population is 60% due to UNC Chapel Hill. The book is a bit heavy handed on statistics but if you can get through it, you’ll feel better knowing that it’s not you, it’s the situation keeping you from that special love.
Dating books are always popular, but the new generation of these books seem to be slim, easy reads. Cinderella Has Cellulite: And Other Musings from A Last Wife by Donna Arp Weitsman (Greenleaf Book Group 2014) is a second edition printing. It’s her first book written from her personal experiences. Although there is no age limit for interest, this book is obviously geared towards women 30+ who have either been formerly married, or still searching. What’s good about it is that the author cautions you to temper your frenzy about a new man and really consider the difficult questions about what kind of baggage this might bring to your relationship. It’s realistic and in parts, kind humorous. If you are in a situation where you’re involved with a man who is still married, separated, or in a relationship with another woman (your competition of course) you will ease some of your tension reading the authors “tell it like it is” advice. It’s a thin book and most of it isn’t not earth-shatteringly helpful, but it’s authentic and will give you some real cause for pause before you lose your head as well as your heart.